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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tournament Prediction - China Open

After a field day of upsets, the 2nd round promises some interesting encounters...

Xie Xingfang vs. Tine Rasmussen
Rematch number 3 between these two players. Best player from Europe vs. best player from Asia. On paper Xie, former world champion and current world number 1 is the heavy favorite, although Rasmussen managed to beat Xie in Tokyo en route to winning her maiden Super Series title. However, Xie is currently on a confidence high, coming straight from winning the French Open. Unless Xie cracks under the home crowd's pressure, she will walk away with this one in three sets.

Wong Mew Choo vs. Pi Hongyan
Wong easily swept past Chinese junior Zhu Jingjing yesterday, while Pi was forced to slog for 42 minutes before finally prevailing against a relative unknown. Fresh from her runner up finish in Paris, Pi is technically the favorite of this encounter. However, Wong will be eager to secure her Super Series Finals placing, and I predict that she will prevail in 3 tight sets.

Wang Chen vs. Jun Jae Youn
Wang is the 5th seed, while Jae Youn is unseeded, although she is highly underrated. This encounter is going to be tight, as both players are experienced and are veterans of the game. Jun easily swept past fellow countrywomen Hwang Hye Youn yesterday, especially in the 2nd set, where she won 21-3, while Wang was stretched to 3 sets by Indian Saina Nehwal. The key to this game, I believe, is controlling the strong drift occurring in the stadium. Drifts in the Guangzhou venue is unusually high for a badminton stadium, and will be crucial to this game, as Wang Chen was visibly affected by the drift in the first game against Nehwal. She who controls the drift will win in 3 sets.

Hafiz Hashim vs. Park Sung Hwan
Fresh from his magnificent upset against Lin Dan yesterday, Park will be coming in on a confident high. What he will not be coming in on, however, will be on a stamina high. Forced to play for 70 minutes before finally prevailing, Park will be relatively unfocused compared to Hafiz, who had a relatively easy game against Gong Weijie, another underrated Chinese junior. However, Hafiz is, after all the yoyo-king, and his performance can be characterized as a pendulum. Lets just hope he plays well against Park today to reach his target of Quarterfinals.

Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae vs. Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen
The reigning world championship silver medalist take on the former world champions in this youngsters vs. veterans battle. It will be a game of speed vs. experience. Although the Koreans are the obviously favorites in this match, the former world number ones should not be discounted easily. Tight game, but the Koreans will prevail eventually in 3 sets.

Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui vs. Vita Marrisa/Lilyana Natsir
Dream matchup. Both are underrated players. Wong and Chin are attempting to qualify for the year ending Super Series finals, while Vita and Lilyana are have mixed doubles on their hands before being able to play this match. Both pairs have relatively easy games yesterday, winning in 18 and 17 minutes respectively. I believe the Malaysian girls will win this match, as the Indonesians will be too tired and fatigued from their Mixed Doubles games.

For results on the ongoing China Open go here:

Badminton Loonsport

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